Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A New Project!

I am not going to tell you what this is. It took two sizes of needles, three separate gauges, two kinds and weights of yarn, and one beginning and then unravelling and starting over (so far), but I have begun the first real project I have done in over a year. Remember how I had a baby? Before F was born, I did a lot of booties (which no baby actually wears, but you can show him them when he's a grown-up and we can all be like aw! you were so cute!) and a couple of little sleep-sacks (again, didn't end up using it, but how cute). Since he was born, I started and forgot about a couple of dishcloths - I may have finished one. Honestly, I can't remember. That's what sleep deprivation does to you; it forces you into an eternal cycle of unfinished dishcloths.

[SIDE NOTE UPDATE: I totally forgot about the two knitted bookcovers (three, really - the first was a test) I made in early spring for K and my friend, V (shown in an April post). That's what sleep deprivation does to you; it forces you in an eternal cycle of unremembered projects.]

So I'm pretty excited about this. I'm ready to try harder projects. I'm ready to make things for myself. This is it. I won't reveal what it is just yet (I hope it turns out!), but I will say that the colors are deliberate, an homage to my Hogwart's House, Slytherin.

It's going to be a magical autumn!

Monday, July 17, 2017

On to the Next One

Gods, I hope this one is not about violence and racism, which are important topics, but I just read three of those (poetry books - not counting the nonfiction about Hmong refugees I just finished and fiction about rape and female circumcision in Africa that I'm currently reading - wow, I need to get back to YA) and need a break from the darkness...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A New Book

I've somehow managed to read quite a bit this summer - a couple of YAs from the library, excerpts from an ongoing rotation of Buddhist-inspired and non-Buddhist-inspired self-reflection books, a sci-fi/fantasy-ish book called Who Fears Death? that Kevyn and I are reading together (literally - there is one copy), an amazing nonfiction/memoir book called The Song Poet, and an award-winning poetry book that I mostly didn't like...

My last two poetry books were about bigotry and racial and sexual violence - pretty awful and depressing, but that's not what I didn't like. Poetry is a great vehicle for tackling these big, horrible issues. The second book was just super ambitious and didn't give me the feels (the point of poetry).

I am excited to begin a new poetry book! It looks a little dark but also funny and sarcastic. Humor, as Colbert reminds me daily, gets us through these crazy times.

UPDATE: I read this book in about 45 minutes during stolen moments while F was playing with toys and napping. Same depressing themes as the last two, but I enjoyed the oddly constructed lines, sarcasm, and brevity.

Friday, July 7, 2017


A while ago, I wrote a post called Monumentous, a non-word I'd been happily using until I realized my error. I'm still fond of it, but I don't use it. Niko has been saying "hunormous" for a few months now, and I don't have the heart to correct him. It's funny and sweet and a welcome reminder of the small one he used to be as he swiftly leaves young childhood behind.

I write and speak and think too much about the heartache of watching your children grow, but it often consumes me. There's never enough time. I'm never present enough or joyful enough. I beat myself up about it constantly. How I'm not good enough for them. How I'm failing them. How soon our closely-knit journey together will be over.

I'm not asking for a pep-talk or lecture - I know my faults and I even know their rememedies; I'm an eternal work-in-progress, as we all should be. I'm simply here in a moment of marveling. This sweet, sensitive, funny, obnoxious six-year old is a hunormous miracle, a pocket of stardust in the vast unknown.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Today's That Day

There are days, like today, I hate being a mom. I hate washing a million dishes and a million clothes that I didn't even dirty. I hate cleaning food from the floor and paint from the table. I hate the constant questions, the constant crying, the constant need for help. I hate not being able to do anything for myself, not taking a shower, not reading, not writing, not having a steady income, not having a job outside of the house, not feeling worthy of anything, not feeling appreciated by anyone. Today sucks. This post isn't going to end with a wonderful paragraph about how it's all worth it and how much I love my kids. Yeah, that part's true, but sometimes it all just sucks, and you don't need to look for the bright side. Sometimes you want to wallow in how much you hate your life. Today's that day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Many many many many many many many moons

ago, I blogged about my "Journal Project," which I began in the fall of 2012, rereading all my old journals, which began in the mid 1990s. Once I reached 2011, I took some time off from it because I felt like it was all too new to relive. Recently, I got back to my journal project, and aside from a lot of insightful entries about the journal project (how meta), I have been able to relive so many wonderful moments with tiny Niko. So many first words, hikes, snuggles, etc., and more than one entry of shame at yelling at him. I wish I could say I have stopped yelling at my kids, but, um, nope. Anyway, here's some sweetness with my current notes in brackets:

"N just peed in the potty again right before his bath [this is a big deal]. He was pretty adorable today (when isn't he?) helping K mix the pizza dough and stuff [I still love watching them do projects together - woodworking, gardening, etc.]...

Niko and I had a fabulous afternoon Thursday. We made popcorn and stood at the counter feeding it to each other while listening to jazz [still sounds like my idea of a perfect Thursday]. I made K-cup coffee and we made noises to it, like usual [Felix and I now have similar routines with the air popper and washing machine]. We played Niko/Polo [LOL] and ran around the house chasing each other [we still run around the house chasing each other - Felix and Ginny join in the fun now]. When K came home, we all went to Joey's for dinner [mmmm]. K left for MN early yesterday [who knew we'd end up living here?]. We got up at 5:30 to see him off. We watched cartoons (of course), played blocks, stickers twice, markers, bath, walk down Quincy, talked to K on the phone [this all sounds suspiciously like all the things we do now...]...

Niko is currently pulling all his books down [It's F's turn to do this now - Niko just hoards everything under his bed now]."

I could go on and on with the most mundane-to-you but wonderfully glorious and precious-to-me entries of our daily life. Keep 'em coming, I say.

My Rant About Life & Motherhood

It doesn't need to be said, but maybe it does. You've got so many moms not talking about their real lives and feelings, acting like they have it all together while feeling like miserable failures most of the time. I'm serious. I know enough moms to know this. I am a mom. I almost bought into the lie (I do buy into it sometimes) - moms are superwomen who can DO EVERYTHING and still be happy! Yes, we are superwomen; there's no doubt about that. But we can't do everything and be happy. We can't. We shouldn't. It's not our job. Our job is to show our children what it looks like to love, respect, and honor yourself, because that's kinda what we want for them when they grow up, right? We carry so much guilt and shame around with us - every time we yelled for a stupid reason, every time we said we were too busy to play, every time we chose work/chores/nap over our children. (Note: definitely choose naps over children; it will make everyone happier.) I try not to say no to my children when they want my attention. That doesn't mean I never say no. It means I try. Because there's no rewind button here. My years with them are limited, and already the older one has realized that I am neither his Sun nor his Moon. Maybe Saturn. Maybe Jupiter. One day too soon I will no longer exist in his solar system. The years are few and sacred. Dishes can wait. Laundry can wait. If you're going to blow off your kids, do it for the right reasons - because you need some you time. Read a book, watch a show, drink some coffee. Show them what it looks like to take care of yourself because in the end, you are the only one who will be with you forever. Every one else comes and goes. Teach them to embrace themselves, to feel the joy of self-love.